Local News

Friends: Danny Lotz lived an exemplary life

Posted August 19, 2015 3:03 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2015 12:38 p.m. EDT

Dr. Danny Lotz

— Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, posted to Facebook Wednesday that her husband, Danny Lotz, "moved to our Father's House."

Danny Lotz was pulled unconscious from a pool at the couple's Raleigh home on Monday.

Rex Hospital said the man's heart stopped while in the pool, and that although emergency responders were able to restart his heart, he could not be saved.

Anne Lotz said she found her husband, 78, in their pool at 5925 Ponderosa Road around 3:45 p.m.

In a call to 911, she told dispatchers that she had been inside the house and ran out to find her husband face-down in the water.

"He's in the water. He's huge. I can't get him out. I'm just trying to hold his head above water," she said.

The couple was married for 49 years.

"We salute you, Danny Lotz. And we will never forget you," Anne Lotz wrote in a Facebook tribute.

Today, Danny Lotz's close friends remembered a man who they say lived an exemplary life.

Regional director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Johnny Evans remembered Danny Lotz as a friend, mentor, and role model. He said Danny Lotz was responsible for bringing the Christian organization for young athletes to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

"[He was] a leader of the leaders. He had an uncanny relational ability to make whoever was in front of him feel like they were the most important person in the world," said Evans.

Danny Lotz was a member of the University of North Carolina's undefeated 1957 basketball team.

"He was a true gentleman and beloved member of our Tar Heel family. His positive impact on people went far beyond basketball," said a statement from the university.

Executive director for the Raleigh Baptist Association, Dr. Roger Nix knew Danny Lotz for more than 30 years.

"Though he is very physically imposing, being the basketball player he was and having all that heritage at Carolina, he never sought that kind of limelight," said Nix. "He was truly as the scripture says, he was a humble servant."

Nix developed a close friendship with Danny Lotz when Nix was a pastor at temple baptist Church, where Danny Lotz led countless Bible studies, influencing generations of men and their families.

"There's probably not a laymen in the city of Raleigh, or Triangle area, that had a deeper passion for discipling men and probably literally thousands of men over the years," said Nix.

Nix says he will never forget the time he was battling a life-threatening illness and Danny Lotz took time out of his busy schedule to give him a call and offer words of comfort. Evans said he will miss Danny Lotz's humor.